Jobs: Nonprofit Jobs

Farm Business Training and Incubator Farm Site Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

Lowell, Mass.
Jan / 26 / 2017

Organizational Description

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project’s (New Entry) mission is to improve our local and regional food systems by training the next generation of farmers to produce food that is sustainable, nutritious and culturally appropriate and making this food accessible to individuals regardless of age, mobility, ethnicity or socio-economic status. In doing this work, New Entry provides critical training, career development, and economic opportunity to new farmers. New Entry is a fiscally sponsored project of Third Sector New England.

Job Summary

The Farm Business Training & Incubator Farm Site Manager is responsible for providing year-round technical assistance (TA) and farm production and business training to small-scale beginning farmers, both on and off the field, on multiple aspects of farm enterprise development.  Manage New Entry’s multiple incubator farm sites and equipment, determine best approach for site improvements and facilitate crop production (emphasizing organic techniques) to achieve lease compliance and support producers to achieve commercial farm goals. This position is a vital part of the farmer training team, and as such will share in the responsibility of fulfilling farmer training grant deliverables and reporting requirements.

Essential Job Functions

Farmer Training and Business Development

  • Teach New Entry’s 8-week Farm Business Planning Course. Provide feedback and support on business plan development and evaluation for all students, establish standards required for graduation and work with students to meet the required business development standards for ongoing New Entry program participation;
  • Teach hands-on practical skills workshops in sustainable agriculture at the incubator farms;
  • Organize and coordinate farmer meetings and community participation at meetings, trainings, conferences and field trips in order to meet farmer learning goals;
  • Provide comprehensive individual TA to beginning and advanced farmers in order to help them attain farm business planning and crop production goals.  Develop new training materials for farmers and service providers to meet producer learning needs;
  • Access and connect producers to resources needed to scale up, capitalize, or expand farm enterprises;
  • Track farmer competency and skills development through a comprehensive case management system and data collection and tracking systems in New Entry’s cloud-based Salesforce CRM. 

Incubator Farm Management

  • Manage New Entry’s multiple incubator farm training sites using organic and sustainable production practices;
  • Establish clear roles and expectations at the incubator farms to support the needs of multiple constituents (growers, neighbors, land owners).  Assist farmers to understand roles and meet expectations;
  • Conduct farm services, including land preparation/tillage, custom tractor work and the use/management of greenhouse, irrigation, cooling / storage and other farm supplies and equipment in order to maximize impact of New Entry resources;
  • Maintain farm equipment and facilities, including tractors, grounds, other tillage equipment, greenhouses and irrigation systems in order to ensure continuity of incubator farm site operations;
  • Determine equipment and supply needs and make purchases and coordinate with contractors in order to ensure integrity of their work;
  • Coordinate and supervise volunteer work days on the farms and supervise farm interns and work-study students in order to maximize impact;
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Grants and Data Management Support

  • Complete project deliverables that fall within the scope of the Incubator Farm Manager’s training and educational resource development responsibilities and support completion of deliverables for the farmer training team;
  • Submit reports for a small portfolio of grants based on each funder’s reporting guidelines in a timely manner;
  • Provide input on grant proposal project narratives as needed;
  • Manage technical assistance notes on each farmer via our Case Management System in Salesforce;
  • Support annual farmer survey collection.

Special requirements

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.;
  • Ability to work outside, year-round in all weather conditions;
  • Ability to safely operate heavy machinery and implements on small acreage and in tight spaces;
  • Ability to assess equipment maintenance needs and address promptly;
  • Ability to walk on uneven terrain to conduct farm site workshops;
  • Valid drivers’ license and clean motor vehicle record.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field required. Agricultural training and experience in multiple aspects of farming and farm enterprise is essential.  Prior farm management/ farm business ownership experience a plus;
  • At least 3 years’ experience in delivering technical assistance to farmers in the areas of crop production, marketing, and business planning;
  • Experience in adult education and teaching to diverse learning styles;
  • Community organizing and cross-cultural experience helpful. Ability to build relationships with early-stage beginning farmers and immigrant and refugee farmer participants;
  • Ability to safely operate and maintain farm equipment and machinery, including up to a 65 hp tractor with multiple implements;
  • Ability to manage large groups of volunteers;
  • Highly organized and good attention to detail;
  • Self-motivated, self- directed. Ability to work well within a rapidly-changing environment.
  • Excellent customer service, organizational and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Familiarity with federal and private grants proposals and reports or willingness to learn;
  • Working knowledge of computer software (MS Office, social media, spreadsheets) and Salesforce experience a plus;
  • Access to reliable private transportation necessary;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends.

Salary

Commensurate with experience starting at $45,000 annually. Complete benefits package including health and dental insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation and paid holidays, sick time, personal days, etc.

To Apply

We strongly encourage online applications and provision of a writing sample.

Click here to apply online.

We also accept applications by mail or fax. Apply by mail to: Third Sector New England, Attn: Employment Manager, NonProfit Center, 89 South Street, Boston, MA  02111; or send by fax to: 617.523.2070.

As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE and New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, veteran or disability status.